Geest maintains sales growth at 17 per cent

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Geest, the producer of convenience foods for supermarkets, yesterday said that total sales growth in the second half of last year was maintained at around the 17 per cent level achieved in the first six months.

Geest, the producer of convenience foods for supermarkets, yesterday said that total sales growth in the second half of last year was maintained at around the 17 per cent level achieved in the first six months.

The company said that the fresh prepared-foods sector in the UK had grown by at least 10 per cent and that it had grown at a slightly faster rate.

Delivering an upbeat trading statement ahead of its closed period, Geest said that £50m was spent on capital projects in 2000 to increase capacity in response to growing demand.

Geest is consolidating production of dressed salads, such as coleslaw, from two sites currently into one at Spalding. This will leave the Abbeyvale site concentrating solely on sushi.

Ian Menzies-Gow, Geest's chairman, said: "We remain confident that the market for fresh prepared foods ... offers considerable scope for growth and that we will have met our expectations for the year ended 30 December 2000."

The company also announced that it had brought forward the completion of its acquisition of Cinquieme Saison, a producer of prepared leafy salads, based in France. The deal was originally scheduled to go through by the end of 2001, in three phases, but it has already been completed. Geest has bought the 65 per cent it does not already own. The total cost of the acquisition was £6m.

"We are now present in Benelux and France," said Mr Menzies-Gow.

Geest shares yesterday closed up 7.5p to 517.5p.

Comments